Foods you loved abroad find a place at home

Hayley Glatter, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Ah, Winter Quarter. A time of late frostbite shuttles, general cold-related saltiness and an impossible deluge of Wildcats who seem to start every sentence with “Well, this one time in Paris …” That’s right, Cats, nearly 400 students studied abroad in the fall, and many are back on campus for the first time since summer armed with stories they can’t wait to tell the entire world. Between the sightseeing and “studying,” one thing every study abroad student did was eat. From mince pies in London to pasta in Milan, the cuisine abroad certainly pleased palates. And luckily, even if there’s an Eiffel Tower-sized hole in your heart where Nutella crepes used to be, there are restaurants nearby with their own takes on European delicacies. The five most popular study abroad locations as reported by Northwestern’s Study Abroad Office are below, and the Evanston and Chicago areas have enough international eats to remind you of the good old days of siesta and sangria.

  1. France: After four months in France, your language skills improved, your propensity to roll your eyes at tourists skyrocketed and your knowledge of high-quality carbs undoubtedly progressed. Although returning to Evanston may be a sorry reminder that not every street corner features life-changing pain au chocolat, a new cafe might just hit the spot. Opening in the fall in the spot formerly occupied by Cafe Mozart, Patisserie Coralie, 600 Davis St., is a French pastry shop featuring your favorite tasty treats. Hustling to class with a croissant in hand is basically the same as eating one on the Champs-Elysees, right?
  2. England: Luckily for you ex-Londoners, London’s lunchtime staple is literally right in Evanston. Pret A Manger, the most ubiquitous chain in the land of Royal Baby George, set up shop at 1701 Sherman Ave. But even if you’ve lost your stomach for mayonnaise-filled sandwiches and chicken soup, don’t fret. Though London may not be known as a culinary capital of the world, The Red Lion Lincoln Square will have you remembering all the great meals you ate in the shadow of Big Ben. The British pub has everything from fish and chips to bangers and mash, and even though you may not be able to get a cup of coffee from Caffe Nero, this dining experience will have you reminiscing about the Tube in no time.
  3. Spain: Tapas Barcelona is the obvious choice to fulfill the needs of your patatas bravas-deprived taste buds. Located conveniently at 1615 Chicago Ave., Tapas Barcelona has been cooking up croquetas since 1995. The catalana paella will have you totally forgetting about the fact that you’re no longer legally allowed to drink sangria. Plus, going to Tapas Barcelona definitely earns you a siesta. And the stained glass on Alice Millar Chapel does sort of look like the Sagrada Familia (if you really squint and are looking through foggy glasses).
  4. Denmark: You basically lived on meat and potatoes while you were kicking it in Copenhagen, and that kind of fun definitely doesn’t have to stop just because you returned stateside. To fulfill your Scandinavian longings, check out Tre Kronor, a breakfast and brunch spot churning out your Danish favorites in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood. From traditional Danish pastries to a Kobenhavn Omelette, this spot will have you missing that amazing currency conversion rate and the stellar Instagram photo-shoot you had with the Little Mermaid statue.
  5. Italy: When you told everyone you were going to Italy, they were probably somewhat jealous of the amazing art you were going to see. They were a tad envious of your opportunity to immerse yourself in one of the world’s oldest cultures. But really, they were turning green with envy over the food you were undoubtedly going to enjoy. From hand-tossed pizzas to mouthwatering gelato, Italy certainly takes the cake – or cannoli – in a lot of food categories. Though no location could possibly hold a candle to whatever quiet cafe you and your abroad besties called your favorite, taking the hike downtown to Eataly can definitely appease some of your marinara-based woes. The gigantic palace of Italian cuisine is filled with so much homemade focaccia and gelato you’ll never want to say ciao.

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